Graphic designers use a wide range of programs, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. While Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard for most image editing projects, it’s a raster editor, which means it runs into problems with pixelation when resizing objects. Adobe Illustrator eliminates these problems as a vector editor that uses mathematics to create images that can be resized without degradation. If you’re working on a project that might require frequent resizes, you might want to know how to make an AI file. Here are a few different ways to accomplish this task.
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Work Strictly in Adobe Illustrator
The easiest way to create one of these files is to forego involvement by any other programs. This might not be possible if you’re working with photographs, but original drawings done by mouse, digital pen or another input design are ideal for this software. Once you’re finished creating the various layers of your image, you can save the entire ongoing project as an AI file, which allows you to come back and manipulate an individual layer. If you flatten the picture and create a GIF, JPEG or BMP, you won’t be able to augment specific elements. This process is common for those who design corporate logos or new typefaces that need to maintain visual integrity at a number of different sizes.
Convert a Photoshop File
If you do the bulk of your work in Photoshop, you probably save a lot of your files in the PSD format, which preserves your ability to keep working on an individual layer. Much like Illustrator, if you merge everything into a flattened file, it becomes one single layer, which limits flexibility in exchange for a smaller file size. You can open a PSD file in Illustrator with minimal problems by making sure you have the “convert layers to objects” box checked off. This can be helpful if you need to eventually open your creation in AutoCAD or another similar computer assisted drawing program.
A Better Way to Illustrate
Now you know how to make an AI file, you’ll be ready to get the most out of this versatile software for any of your graphic design projects. The ability to use Illustrator’s capabilities is a weapon every professional designer should have in his or her pocket. If you’re still looking for additional images to incorporate into your design, Shutterstock has a library with millions of royalty-free images grouped by size, genre and other criteria.